Nokia 2.2 review: Reliable budget Android One phone

Nokia 2.2 review: Reliable budget Android One phone

HMD Global Oy launched the company's most affordable Android One series Nokia 2.2 in June in India.

Considering the specifications on paper, the new Nokia 2.2 seems to be a cost-effective budget phone. I used the new Android One series mobile for a week and here's my impression.

Design, display and build quality:
Nokia 2.2 Android One flaunts a 5.71-inch HD+ LCD display with 400 nits brightness and 19:9 aspect ratio. It is bright enough to watch content without the need for squinting our eyes to read texts or watch a video even when under direct sunlight.

Nokia 2.2 Android One comes with removable shell; DH Photo/ Rohit KVN 

On the back, it features a removable shell made of polycarbonate-based material. It glossy smooth texture, and yet it offers good grip for the fingers to hold on to the device. The only qualm is that it is a fingerprint magnet.

As said in my initial impression article, this design language allows the consumer to replace the battery themselves over time, without having to go to a repair shop. Be advised always go for the company's original battery or authorised cells to replace the old battery. 

Nokia 2.2 comes with dedicated slots for two SIMs and a microSD card under the removable shell. 

On the left, it comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button. On the opposite side, it has a power button and the volume rockers placed one above the other.

At the top, Nokia 2.2 features a 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom, it has a micro USB Type 2 port and mic. 

My Nokia 2.2 Android One review unit features MediaTek Helio A22 quad-core processor and is backed by 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. 

The Android One performed day-to-day activities like internet browsing, view social media platforms, play around with the camera, among others without any fuss. Even when playing Angry Birds Rio, it didn't show any lag-ness.

Nokia 2.2 comes with Android Pie OS; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

I loved user-interface, as it runs pure Android Pie free of third-party apps. Considering the fact, it is an Android One series, is that it is certain to get Android Q and if there is no issue of hardware limitation, it may get Android R in 2020.

Nokia 2.2 Android One sports a 13MP sensor with Autofocus, 1/3-inch lens, F2.2 aperture, LED flash. It can take HDR (High Dynamic Range), panorama, support Google Lens, and time-lapse mode pictures.

Nokia 2.2 Android One camera sample; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

During the testing period, Nokia 2.2 took decent pictures, more so in bright sunlight conditions. It was able to capture subjects, particularly flowers with near-accurate natural colours without any saturation, we see in rival brands.

Nokia 2.2 Android One camera's sample;  DH Photo/Rohit KVN

However, the same cannot be said about the camera in the low-light environment, as the autofocus takes way too long to become stable. I was able a get decent quality picture but took some time to get it right.

Nokia 2.2 Android One camera's sample;  DH Photo/Rohit KVN

On the front, Nokia 2.1 houses a  5MP with fixed focus. It takes fine quality selfies. I tried the beautify feature to see how it works in terms of adjusting the face complexion and it succeeds in the job.

Nokia 2.2 Android One camera sample taken in the night;  DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Nokia 2.2 comes with a 3,000mAh battery and during the testing period, the device consistently delivered a full day's battery life.

Final thoughts:
Nokia 2.2 is a reliable phone, as it can perform all day-to-day activities such as calls taking calls, switching between multiple apps, playing games (non-graphics intense ones), watching videos and other stuff. It is best suited to those, who are sitting on the fence whether to migrate from keypad-based feature phone to touchscreen mobile. The clutter-free Android experience will help them get the hang off the Nokia 2.2 even easier.

However, one qualm I have with Nokia 2.2 is the face unlock. Though it works perfectly fine in the good lighting conditions, it doesn't perform well in the dark and you have to use either pattern or number lock to open the phone's lockscreen.

Pure Android experience and guaranteed to get two major software updates
Good display and dependable build quality
Decent camera for its price

No fingerprint sensor and the face unlock struggles to work in the low-light environments

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